Hi friends! Let me start by saying that this recipe that we are about to embark upon together is one of my favorites! Hummingbird cupcakes with lemon curd are a crowd pleaser and a coconut conversion food. What do I mean by that?? I mean that even if you don’t like coconut, these are sure to convert you!
So what is a Hummingbird Cupcake?
Traditionally a southern cake, hummingbird cake is made with banana, pineapple, coconut, walnuts (or pecans depending on where you’re from) and a dash of cinnamon. The recipe originated in Jamaica and is named after the islands national bird. It set sail to the United States in the late 60’s and in the late 70’s the recipe was printed in Southern Living – solidifying it as a household staple.
Even though the cake has *a lot* going on – the flavors meld and twine together to create a soft cake that pairs perfectly the tangy cream cheese frosting.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these hummingbird cupcakes with lemon curd:
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking soda
- Ripe Bananas
- Crushed Pineapple
- Walnuts or Pecans
- Unsweetened Toasted Coconut
These cupcakes come together in no time, starting with creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This allows the fat to become aerated and creates a lighter finished product.
Next, we follow with the eggs, then on to the add-ins. I find it easiest to mix the banana and crushed pineapple together as the “wet Ingredients” and add the finely chopped nuts and toasted coconut to the dry ingredients.
You certainly don’t have to do it this way, but I find this is the most effective way to evenly distribute the “goods” throughout the cupcake.
Let’s talk substitutions!
Don’t like something on the list? Or maybe you don’t have an ingredient on hand? Let’s sub it out!
For the Bananas: you can substitute apple sauce in an equal amount – this will create a slightly looser batter and you may have to increase baking time. I would recommend unsweetened applesauce so as to not over power the cake.
For the Pineapple: any crushed fruit will do – peaches (yum!), apricots, pears – you will want to drain any of these and if they don’t come crushed in a can, use a blender to puree them a bit.
For the Walnuts/Pecans: substitute any nuts that you like! Aim for unsalted nuts though just to as to not throw off the flavors. Don’t like nuts or are allergic? Leave ‘em out – the batter will come out just fine.
For the Coconut: Same goes as above, if you don’t like coconut, you can absolutely leave it out. I highly recommend using unsweetened coconut if you can. If you have the sweetened kind, you can still use it – the cake may just be a bit sweeter than normal.
Regardless of the substitution, when baking, keep a close eye on them as they may take a bit longer than the original recipe calls for.
Fill & Frost
The traditional frosting for these cupcakes is a smooth, slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. My recipe is super simple and makes just enough for this recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Store bought Lemon Curd of your Choice
When making this frosting, I find that softening the cream cheese a bit really helps it come together quickly. I usually take it out of the fridge when I start on the cakes so that by the time I’m making the frosting, it is not as chilled. You can certainly soften in the microwave, but be careful not to melt it. If I use this method, I usually microwave in short 15 second bursts.
The butter is also best incorporated at room temp – you can use the same microwave technique as above.
All of my frostings tend to call for a lot of powdered sugar. I like frostings to be thick and hold their shape when piped. I use a full 2 lbs of powdered sugar in this recipe, but if you like your frostings a bit looser, you can either use less powdered sugar or add more milk to the finished product. Completely up to you.
Cream cheese frosting is traditionally used in southern baked goods as it holds well at room temperature and in warmer climates. I’m not sure if the original Jamaican cake would have used cream cheese, but it is a great compliment to all of the flavors going on in this cupcake!
I also decided to take this recipe one step further and add a lemon curd filling. I chose my favorite store bought lemon curd, cored out the center of the cupcakes just before frosting and added a dollop inside. Such a fun surprise and a bit more tang! Certainly optional, but highly recommended!
I hope you decide to make these hummingbird cupcakes with lemon curd this spring – they would be perfect on Easter or really anytime when the weather is fine!
Here are some other cupcake recipes you might like:
Catcha next time! Happy Baking!
Hummingbird Cupcakes with Lemon Curd
Pineapple, banana, coconut and walnuts come together in these Hummingbird Cupcakes stuffed with lemon curd — yum!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 1 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cups mashed ripe banana about 3 large
- 1 can 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut
- Optional: Store bought lemon curd for filling
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 Oz Cream cheese
- ½ Cup 1 Stick Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- Up to 2lbs Powdered Sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, walnuts, coconut, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir together banana, pineapple. Add to egg mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in flour mixture.
- Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small knife to core the center of each cupcake, reserving the top. Fill with your favorite lemon curd and replace cake top.
- Using a small offset spatula spread frosting generously on top of each cupcake.
- Decorate with flaked coconut, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
To make the Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Mix to combine.
- With the Mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar – adding milk as necessary until desired consistency is reached.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.